Heartburn is no fun.
It can damage your digestive system over long periods of time, and it’s always uncomfortable.
Almost 25% of the adult U.S. population experiences heartburn at least once a week.
If you want to reduce the symptoms of heartburn, there are plenty of over-the-counter options available.
However, the cost can add up fairly quickly if you take these types of medications on a daily or weekly basis. Plus, your body can develop a dependence on many heartburn medications, making it hard to function without them.
Fortunately, there are several homemade remedies for heartburn to save some money and plenty of natural solutions for getting rid of heartburn for good.
What causes heartburn?
If you want to cure your heartburn, it’s critical to understand what causes it. Once you’ve identified the source of your heartburn, you can start making changes to reduce your symptoms and heal your body.
Acid reflux causes the feeling you probably know as heartburn.
The cause of acid reflux is pretty gross. Partially digested food mixes with stomach acid and makes its way up your esophagus.
Lots of things can trigger this situation, so it’s important to take a long, hard look at your daily habits to identify where the problem is coming from.
- Eating before bedtime
- Alcohol: especially red wine
- Acidic foods: citrus and tomatoes
- Spicy foods including black pepper, onion, and garlic
- Caffeine from tea, coffee, and chocolate
- Poor posture
Some symptoms of occasional heartburn are pretty obvious such as stomach pain or burning, but there is also a broad range of lesser-known symptoms:
- A sore throat, feeling hoarse
- Trouble swallowing
- Ears ringing – especially after a large meal
- Persistent cough
You may experience these symptoms as stomach acid makes its way into different parts of your body, such as your throat and sinuses. Remember: Your ears, nose, and throat are all extremely interconnected.
Always see a doctor for any new or persistent symptoms. Heartburn and acid reflux can cause damage or imply larger health issues.
Surprising homemade remedies for heartburn
Now that you’ve figured out what’s causing your heartburn, you can seek out solutions. Like over-the-counter medications, many heartburn remedies only treat the symptoms. That’s why it’s important to adopt healthy lifestyle changes to treat the source of your heartburn.
1. Posture correction
Do you spend most of your time sitting or standing?
If you mostly sit, try to find ways to stand more throughout the day. Sitting for long periods of time can cause back pain, exasperate gynecological conditions, and contribute to poor digestive health. If you mostly stand, make sure you’re standing up straight.
Try to avoid sitting or lying down after meals. Standing helps encourage proper digestion.
Do you sleep on your stomach? Sleep on your side to take the extra pressure off your abdomen.
Consider a daily yoga routine focused on digestive health and proper posture.
Just as many foods cause heartburn, others can help relieve symptoms. Some foods help neutralize stomach acid while others encourage proper acid production or reduce stomach spasms. Try to avoid acidic foods while incorporating these foods into your diet:
- Chia seeds
- Aloe vera juice
- Fermented foods
- Pumpkin and squash
- Fennel seeds
3. Baking soda shots
Baking soda helps neutralize stomach acid. Add ½ tablespoon to a glass of water and drink the mixture on an empty stomach. Add some cream of tartar for an extra boost.
Be careful, just like over-the-counter medications, home remedies like this one can create a dependence or other digestive issues if used regularly for long periods of time.
4. Reevaluate your supplements and medications
Many medications – both prescription and over-the-counter – can have a negative impact on your digestive health which might lead to heartburn. Don’t stop taking your medication. Instead, check with your doctor and ask for alternatives. Sometimes, something as simple as changing the brand may help.
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol medications
- Opiates and narcotics
- Ibuprofen and aspirin
- Sedatives, muscle relaxers, and benzodiazepines
- Anticholinergics for overactive bladder or IBS
Likewise, other supplements support proper digestive health making them excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle:
- Digestive enzymes
- HCL with pepsin
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